The Statue of Liberty Gets a Kid Sister

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch,

whose flames the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles.

From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me

,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Emma Lazarus (1883)

Thanks again France:

It isn’t really clear why France is sending over a “little sister” version of the Statue of Liberty to the United States but it is. Just in time for Independence Day celebrations, the second Statue of Liberty will arrive in New York City and be installed on Ellis Island from July 1 to July 5.

The new bronze statue is one-sixteenth of the original version that stands on Liberty Island. The little sister was loaded into a special container during a ceremony Monday at the National Museum of Arts and Crafts (CNAM) in central Paris. The statue was installed in the museum’s garden in 2011. It is over 992 pounds and just shorter than 10 feet tall. It was made in 2009 and is an exact replica of the original 1878 plaster model preserved by the museum.

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The poet of the Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus, was a most remarkable woman for her time and place. She was a proto-Zionist who helped found the Society for the Colonization and Improvement for Eastern European Jews, and that looked to the establishment of a home land for Jews in what is now Israel. Leftists of course are appalled at that example of open borders immigration, leftists never being known for consistency.  She came from a family of Sephardic Jews who had resided in New York long before the American Revolution.

The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, was entitled Liberty Enlightening the World.  It was intended to celebrate the abolition of slavery.  However, there was a catch to the gift:  Americans would have to raise the funds to build the pedestal of the Statue.  The poem of Ms. Lazarus was part of fundraising efforts in 1883.  She also wanted the poem to highlight the Russian Jews pouring into New York City to begin a new life in the New World.  Emma would live to see the Statue dedicated in 1886, but sadly died of cancer the next year, age 38.  Her poem would be inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903.  Her friend Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, a daughter of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, was inspired by the poem to found the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, dedicated to caring for the destitute suffering from incurable cancer.

If we could ask Miss Lazarus about her poem, I suspect that she would say that it was a celebration of the fact that so many people have found a new home in America, and that legal immigration poses complexities that are for the representatives of the people to decide and not poets.

Published in: on June 15, 2021 at 5:32 am  Comments Off on The Statue of Liberty Gets a Kid Sister